"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better." (Ephesians 1:17 NIV)- This (verses 17-19) is one of Paul's most beautiful prayers for the churches. It's one of my favorite prayers I pray for my children.
- "I keep asking"--shows persistence in prayer. It reminds me of Luke 18:1-8, the parable of the persistent widow. "Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." (Luke 18:1)
- Paul prays that God will give believers wisdom and revelation through His Holy Spirit so that they may know Him better. Biblically speaking, Who you know is more important than what you know. To know God more must be our top priority. Christianity is about relationship, not rules. It is God's desire for us to know Him and it should be our desire to know Him more intimately. "Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death." (Philippians 3:7-10) Know Christ. Imitate Christ.
- "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10) "For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6) The greatest wisdom of all is knowing God...knowing His heart and His will...knowing Christ. "It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, Who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." (1 Corinthians 1:30) "My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:2-3)
- Revelation--God reveals Himself to us through Jesus, the Holy Spirit, His Word, His creation, His people, and circumstances. "'I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed--I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,' declared the Lord, 'that I am God.'" (Isaiah 43:11-12)
- Paul also prays that the eyes of our heart may be enlightened (in verse 18). In the Bible, the heart is the very core of life and the eyes of heart refers to true understanding. One can have a head knowledge of the Bible yet his/her heart remains dark and dead. There is such thing as empty intellectual knowledge of Scripture. Satan knows the Scriptures. Most atheists know the Scriptures. Pharisees and false teachers know the Scriptures. What do they all have in common? The lack of the renewed mind and transformed heart! We need the Holy Spirit to shine the light on the truth of Scripture in our heart and mind. Only then we can actually understand what God wants us to understand. It's like a light bulb being turned on inside of us so that we're able to fully see/know the benefits of the Gospel and grasp & appreciate the spiritual treasures/blessings that God gives us.